It doesn’t matter if you’re a small startup, freelancer or massive corporation: your website needs to signal trust to its visitors ASAP.
You could have the greatest product or service in the world, but it means very little if your visitors see you as spam.
First impressions matter. Attention spans are at an all-time low. People will make snap judgements about brands they’re unfamiliar with, especially if they’re looking to buy from them. That’s why the elements of design are so important to websites and businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The good news is that establishing trust is possible when you know what pieces of your site design to focus on. Even some of the subtlest aspects of design can make or break your potential relationship with visitors.
If you want to ensure that the elements of design are coming together on your website, consider the following six tips that tick the boxes of a sleek site that’s optimized for building trust.
Eye-popping Video Content
Making a good first impression on your visitors means capturing their attention.
Having video content on your homepage, and especially on services pages that explain what you’re all about, can be a game changer for both keeping people on the page. Not only that, but your site will be more alethically pleasing, too.
For example, whiteboard explainer videos for your business are a brilliant showing of how video content can both catch the eyes of visitors and built trust simultaneously as you highlight your business’ accomplishments. Similarly, you could also record your own video in-house as long as it’s high-quality and doesn’t look like it was shot by an amateur.
In addition to having video on-site, think about your site’s static imagery? Banners. Product photos. Hey, even the colors you choose for your branding count here.
While you naturally want to make sure your site gives off the right messages, bear in mind the importance of each and every image on your site.
For example, are you using generic stock photos that your competitors might be using, too? Does your color scheme mesh with your brand or are you going with something “generic?”
If you want to be perceived as more professional, your site can’t afford to look like an out-of-the-box WordPress template.
Again, even the smallest touches can make the biggest impression on visitors. This includes the font you choose for your site copy, logo and everything in-between.
Picking the right brand font doesn’t have to be rocket science, though. Some ground rules include..
- Looking beyond generic fonts (Arial, Helvetica, etc.)
- Choosing something that’s easy to read, both serif and sans-serif fonts are fair game despite popular belief
- Avoiding anything quirky or cartoony (Comic Sans, Papyrus, etc.)
Especially with the rise of mobile visitors, responsive design is considered a must-have any site today.
If you run your site on WordPress, there are tons of responsive themes available if you’re worried about how your site looks on a smartphone. That said, you need to manually check that your site functions on smaller screens yourself. For inspiration, take a look at some of the top sites with responsive design and how they look good on any type of screen.
Run a UX Test
If you have doubts about how your site looks, why not have someone else do the legwork?
You can get free UX tests from services like Peek, among others (just do a quick Google search for “UX test”). These tests inform you of common problems such as unclear wording, hidden calls-to-action and off-base messaging that you might not pick up on yourself. Running such a test is crucial for getting an objective view on how your site looks – it’s hard to be critical yourself when you’re so invested in it yourself.
Incorporate Trust Badges and Icons
Tacking on badges (think: certifications or awards) and “as featured in” buttons (think: Huffington Post, New York Times, etc.) to your homepage are clear ways to show that you’ve walked the walk.
Simply make sure that you choose the best of the best of such icons instead of crowding your site with them. In other words, six of your best features are much better than a dozen decent ones. Furthermore, make sure that whatever buttons you choose don’t clash with your color scheme. When in doubt, just pick a black and a white logo if possible.
Chances are that you don’t need to start your site over from scratch if you want to build a more trustworthy website. Instead, consider how you can implement these small steps over time to win over more visitors and look more like a professional in the process.